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Beyond Meat founder: Our plant-based meat is on its way to being cheaper than animal protein

BYND) founder and CEO Ethan Brown this past Friday night: He has a lot cooking on his grille this summer.

over a year since its IPO.

just fine and dandy after a recent product trial in Canada ended as planned).

Yahoo Finance app (the stock is up 90% year-to-date, in case you are wondering). Brown won’t say that he does, at least to me — so we are just assuming.

And oh, all of this — perhaps collectively happening daily in some form or another — is going down during a major global health pandemic in COVID-19.

Like we said, all in a day’s work for the 6 foot 5 48-year-old.

Brown about the road that lays ahead for Beyond Meat this year. What follows is an edited and condensed version of our chat.

Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown has growth on his mind. Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival)

You told me back in May about some new value packs you were debuting. They are now in stores. I know lowering the price of your meat to drive accessibility and more volume is important to you. What has the response been like?

Obviously we are signaling that you can get really close to parity with beef. Once we start to hit scale, you’ll see the direct material and direct labor benefits of that as we push more volume through our facilities and are able to integrate much more production. But there’s no material obstacle to us being able to, over the long run, under-price animal protein, we just need to keep working on it.

Second, we want to keep increasing the nutritional benefits of our products in terms of delivering all the good stuff to keep track of protein and iron, but taking out the bad stuff that we don’t want. And then lastly, when we get to below animal protein that is a very unusual proposition. The consumer says you know it tastes just like beef, but it is better for me nutritionally and it’s cheaper. How am I not going to eat it. We think that once we hit those three coins on the head, the majority of consumers will come on board.

And that’s what we juxtapose with our process, which is one where the protein comes right from the plants and is run through a system of heating, cooling and pressure to complete.

The second thing I think was really evident to me was this, not by any foresight or spectacular planning, is we just didn’t have the same level of risk in our facilities because we don’t have such crowded assembly lines. Our process is one that is much lower touch because we are not separating pieces of meat. So we’re able to produce with much more spatial advantage and do it with fewer people. So, I think that was really eye-opening.

Brown continues to be laser-focused on lowering the prices for Beyond Meat’s products. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

10% of the stock is shorted. Talk to those skeptics for a second — who is Ethan Brown?

You know we get up and go to work and it’s not about money. It’s about this opportunity to be part of a group of people separate that cares about human health and the climate. So there’s an ethos to our brand, which carries us pretty far.

@BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.” data-reactid=”72″>Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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